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CHRISTIAN LIBERTY AND JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

Listen to the recording of this fascinating broadcast by clicking here:  ChristianLibertyDec10_2011

Jehovah’s Witnesses can be disfellowshipped for celebrating Christmas, reciting the pledge of allegiance, taking a blood transfusion to save their life, speaking to a disfellowshipped Witness or reading religious material not published by the governing body just to name a few. Fellow members are then required to shun him/her completely, having no contact even if they are a family member.  Should Jehovah’s people have the liberty to make their own decisions in these matters?  Do these behaviors offend Jehovah, warranting that these JWs be shunned, disfellowshipped and eternally destroyed in Armageddon?

Former JW and Bethelite, and now a Bible Student Elder, David Stein will lead a round table discussion on this topic.  Guest hosts joining him will be Leonard Griehs and Jeff Mezera.  You can call into this conference call Saturday evening.  After the main discussion, you will be invited to participate with questions and comments.

Conference Call Phone #:  213-226-0400                   After connecting dial 991337

Date:  December 10

Time:  7:00 pm Eastern, 6:00 pm Central and 4:00 pm West Coast

How to participate:

4 * – Self-Mute Line (toggle)

5 * – Raise Hand for Q&A

 

Find more information about Christmas by clicking here:

25 comments to CHRISTIAN LIBERTY AND JEHOVAH’S WITNESSES

  • Enzo

    I followed the discussion about what Christian liberty really is, and I must say, good arguments where presented by the pannel discussion.. Thank you for that great work, and the affords .. Christians greeting from Belgium..

  • max

    Thank you all three for your comments. You mentioned don’t JW,s also expose false things? Yes they do. I believe Jeremiah wrote about tearing down and building up. For example, on my other post in a different subject I quoted from the Pastor’s work. Let me go get it. Vol II page 170,”That the Lord must be present, and set up his Kingdom, and exercise his great power so as to dash the nations to pieces as a potter’s vessel, before A.D. 1914″ A little further and it shows Dan 2:44

    So what is the point? Well if you go read the article you might wonder some differnt things. Actually I would find it interesting to get your thoughts on it. It is in Will only JW,s get saved? Have a great day.

  • Anonymous

    How long is this audio recording of the show discussing this particular subject? I would like to know. Thanks.

  • Dear Max,

    One more thing I wanted to mention about your comment, then I will move on and talk to the general public here . Toward the end of your comment, you said, “So it is no different for us (JW’s) today to hear story after story, of how bad this is in God’s organization”.

    First of all, so sorry that we disturb you and others like you with our TRUE stories of neglect, abuse and being discarded by your “organization”.

    More importantly, amazing that you assume that your “organization” is “God’s organization”! 1st John 2:21 says, “no lie originates with the truth”, but I have heard a lot of lies from the “organization” in my lifetime, being raised as a JW. One such lie is that the “organization” says that only the anointed are brothers of Christ, but that is a LIE because the Christ himself said, that WHOEVER does the will of his Father are his brothers and sisters and mothers. ( Mark 3:35 ).

    This lie that they teach set up the ones claiming to be the “governing body” to be more special or above others, because they apply when the Christ said, “the least of these my brothers” ( Matthew 25:40 ) to themselves so that others will follow THEM. The reality of what the Christ was talking about is in how the lowly ones are treated, as they are the ones Jesus said would be as if it was done to HIM. Your “organization” that you idolize so much, is responsible for all the neglect, abuse and throwing the lowly ones away like trash that you have heard and MORE, in order to make THEMSELVES look and feel righteous and oh so clean.

    Next, you said, “When I see people tire out, they do it on their own.” Wow, what a cold and irresponsible way you look at others who have been damaged, NOT by the outsiders, but by the ones INSIDE of your “organization”! You think by distancing yourself from the ones that you say tire out makes you and your “organization” not partly responsible?

    Fittingly you next sited Galatians 6:9, but you stopped short of the NEXT verse, 10, where it says, “Really, then, as long as we have favorable time for it, let us work what is good toward all, but ESPECIALLY TOWARD THOSE RELATED TO US IN THE FAITH.” Did YOU help, comfort, and encourage the weak ones? Or did you do like the “organization” does and look down on the weak, and cast them aside?

    Do you and your “organization” think or feel that casting brothers and sisters out so you no longer have to feel like they are your brothers and sisters anymore gives you the right or excuse to no longer have any responsibility?

    The Bible says, those that do not provide for those who are their own, have disowned the faith and are WORSE THAN A PERSON WITHOUT FAITH. ( 1 Timothy 5: 8 ) As we just read in Galatians 6: 10, ones who are or WERE related to us in the faith, we need to work GOOD toward them. Is giving up on them and looking down on them working what is good?

    The bottom line is LOVE and mercy. Does the “organization” have this love that the Christ said would be the identifying mark of his people? They show love ONLY to those who are strong and inside their own click or “organization”. They SAY they are showing love by preaching, but going out telling others they are WRONG, but they are RIGHT, is that really the love the Christ was talking about?

    JW’s display the facade of love just like what is common in Multi-Level-Marketing (MLM), where anyone in their own group, they show love, but the minute that one might go to another company, or leave there group, that love is GONE! The Christ teaches to even love our enemies! How do we show love to our brothers and sisters? Throw them away? Blame them for tiring out? Blame them that they sin? The Christ KNEW we would sin many, many, many times, yet HE did not give up on us! WHO on earth does not sin? WHO on earth can judge others?

    Christ teaches us to forgive someone who sins 7 times a day, and to forgive him EACH time even if he just SAYS he repents! Luke 17:1-4

    1st John 4:20, 21 says that one who claims to love God, but does not love or hates his brother is a LIAR! God can not lie, and a lie does not originate with truth. HOW could you assume an “organization” that goes beyond what is written, passes themselves off as the way to life, sets themselves up as savior and mediator, and other similar lies, be “God’s “organization”??

    If you would like to know specifically what are the more than 10 false teachings or lies of the religion that calls itself “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, or Organization Witnesses, write to me at kindloving2001@yahoo.com

  • Larry Jon Wayne

    Dear Max,

    I never attack a person or organization for the sake of revenge, but I do feel it is a God given obligation to expose the hypocrisy of actions and TEACHINGS of ANY person or ANY “organization”.

    Do YOU not also along with your “organization” try to expose what YOU think are false teachings of other religions? If you say no, then you are not being honest, and if you say yes, and admit honestly that this is true, then how hypocritical for the “organization” and its followers not to be willing to look at itself and its teachings and be willing to IMMEDIATELY correct the corruption, the false teachings, and the UN-Christian JUDGMENT that is a complete part of the RELIGION that calls itself “Jehovah’s Witnesses”!

    I DO say FALSE TEACHINGS because there are more then 10 obvious and blatant False Teachings that the Religion that calls itself “Jehovah’s Witnesses” teach and follow. I will only comment on a few for now.

    In one of the 2011 Watchtower studies, it was dogmatically written as also in the past and in other “publications”, that Adam and Eve would NOT have a resurrection! What scripture was that from? There is NO scripture that states this or even EMPLIES this teaching, yet you and your “organization” go “beyond what is written”! The BIBLE at 1 Timothy 2:11 says that Eve was “THOROUGHLY DECEIVED”, by a HIGHER and more intelligent Spirit Creature, kind of like a one year old CHILD being deceived by an adult, and yet you sit in JUDGMENT and say this one will NOT have a resurrection? You and your “organization” that you follow blindly, obviously do NOT know the God of love and mercy!

    The CHRIST said at Matthew 7:1, “STOP JUDGING…”! In a “JUDICIAL Committee”, it is ALL about JUDGING, NOT saving! As I stated already, I came forward to confess my sins, and I am not hiding behind anonymity or secrecy as the “elders” and the “organization” do. They are cowardly hiding behind their authority and telling the “congregation” to accept all the “elder’s” decisions without question! How convenient!

    In your comment, you stated so callously and un-compassionately, “So we see bad things can happen from those who up and leave.” You assume that “we” up and left, when as in my case and MANY others, we are beaten and pushed away for many YEARS with no hope of being “reinstated” by un-merciful men. Then your next sentence, “So what should the faithful do?” You imply that “we” are UN-faithful. Unfaithful to WHOM? To MEN? I follow the CHRIST, who do YOU follow? I can say without any kind of judgment, only stating the facts, that you follow MEN, the “organization” that you and others “followers” (of the “organization”) follow blindly no matter what the BIBLE says. Then in the same paragraph, you quote 1 Timothy 6:18 as if a chastisement and as if it affirms your belief in following an “organization” of men.

    You and other followers of the “organization” equate the “organization” to God or the Christ! That is idolatry! It is so insidious that most followers of the “organization” can not even see or recognize it, and surely would never admit it.

    The 4/1/1979 Watchtower in “Questions From Readers” teaches that the Christ is ONLY the mediator to the “anointed”. Then in the 11/15/1979Watchtower Pages 21-27 in Paragraph 20, when quoting 1 Timothy 2:5, 6 about Jesus being mediator to men, the “organization” ADDED to the Bible quote, “not ALL men”! So nice they can add to the Bible!

    So who is your mediator to PRAY? By teaching that ONLY the anointed are mediated by Christ, then by default, you put the “organization” into position of mediator and savior!

    This is evident by the fact that many times “elders” will use this belief to disfellowship persons falsely by accusing a person “apostate” if they do not accept the “organization” as the means to be saved! How convenient to silence “truth” by keeping ones in a bad light in the eyes of the “congregation” so they can keep their own beliefs dominate that are not found in the BIBLE.

    Max, you also mention how people “tire out”. Tire of WHAT? We tire out from following MEN, we tire out from being LIED to, neglected and ABUSED. We do NOT tire out from following the CHRIST! YOU assume that anyone who does not follow your “organization” has tired out. NO, we just moved on to follow CHRIST as OUR leader instead of men!

    Men have made the “organization” their GOD! I do NOT follow men. I do not follow Charles T. Russell or ANY other man or “organization”! Is it not time we strictly followed the BIBLE and CHRIST, and let GOD interpret his OWN words instead of a sinful “organization”?

    You may take offense for me to call the “organization” sinful, but what does “sin” mean even by the “organization’s” definition? Sin is “falling short of perfection”. Is the “organization” perfect? NO, far from it!

    The followers of the “organization” are lulled to compliance in part by being taught that they are in a “Spiritual Paradise”! The phrase or idea of a “Spiritual Paradise” is NOT even found in the BIBLE! Yet you believe it, just like you believe and accept that Adam and Eve will not have a resurrection, because that is what you are told to believe, by a “governing body”, another phrase NOT found in the BIBLE!

    Really, followers of the “organization” are NOT “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, they are actually ORGANIZATION Witnesses! They blaspheme the name of God by teaching he is NOT merciful, even after the many, many, many teachings and parables of the CHRIST about showing MERCY! “Elders” are often heard saying that the “judicial committee” just follows the guidance of the “Holy Spirit” which directed them to NOT show mercy and have the nerve to say that GOD was the one making the decision to NOT show mercy!

    I could go on and on all day with BIBLE principles and BIBLE teachings as compared to the teachings of the religion that calls itself “Jehovah’s Witnesses”, and I am WILLING to talk to ANYONE about it, and in fact I CHALLENGE anyone to compare the truth of the BIBLE with me as compared to the “organization”, but most are too afraid to look into it.

    I am open and upfront, and I do not hide. I do not fear men. Do YOU? My name is Larry Jon Wayne, and I know I am a “nobody”, I have NO authority, as I do NOT NEED authority. I am NOT a power monger who would beat fellow slaves by “disfellowshippment” when they do not agree with me!

    By the way, according to the CHRIST at Matthew 24:48-51, the SAME “faithful and discrete slave” became an “EVIL SLAVE” by the way he, or it, treated the “fellow slaves”. NOT my words, words of the CHRIST. So, when you put all your faith in the “organization” and its so called “faithful and discrete slave CLASS”, keep the CHRIST’s words in mind!

    Thank you Jacqueline and others for your help and support of neglected, abused, and un-lovingly discarded former JW’s!

    I also appreciate and agree with much of what “Dupin” had to comment. THANKS!

  • Larry Wayne

    John Scott,

    Sorry, while I was starting my writing and editing before I was finished, I accidently pushed the send button, so I will start over now.

    It is interesting you can speak for the whole of the “organization” when you do not know what is going on in each of the many congregations.

    I, in my case, was inactive for 13 years because of a serious sin that I committed, and I was too devastated to speak to the elders since I was already FALSELY accused by an elder before I left. When I returned after 13 years, I had ALREADY stopped my sinning, and I was attending regularly for 6 months before I came forward to confess my sins that I had committed before and during my 13 years of inactivity.

    You said “elders” spend time helping? WRONG! The very DAY I confessed, was the very day I was sentenced to a spiritual DEATH. During the “judicial committee”, they even spoke sarcastically to me and very demeaningly, but I took it all, as I was in the “humble sheep mode”. The following day, after a sleepless night and replaying in my mind the sarcastic remarks they had spoke to and about me, and their lack of understanding and mercy, I tried to get them to reconsider their decision, but instead they set up an appeal committee. What a farce it was!

    Bye the way, they even had me go out door to door two days in a row after they had sentenced me to be “disfellowshipped”, while waiting on the other “Judicial committee” to meet with me. No surprise, the “appeal committee” followed in the same lack of mercy.

    After I was disfellowshipped, I continued to attend not missing a single meeting. I tried to get reinstated after 9 months, and the excuse they used to deny me mercy, was that I had appealed their decision. How arrogant to withhold mercy based on their injured PRIDE.

    I tried to get reinstated for 3 and half years, being denied 5 times, and ignored, not missing a single meeting during that 3 and half years. Where is the love that is supposed to identify disciples of Christ? Where is the Christianity?

    You callously mention that most “disfellowshippings” are because of immorality, but should weak persons that succumb to immorality not be helped?

    Is fornication worse than the MURDER that the “elders” commit with their LACK of mercy and love? You say, “WHAT murder?” The murder that James spoke about in the Bible! DO you suppose he was talking about Physical murder? NO, he was talking about spiritual MURDER!
    James 2:10-13 says, “For whoever observes all the Law but makes a false step in one point, he has become an offender against them all. For he who said: “You must not commit adultery,” said also: “You must not murder.” If, now, you do not commit adultery but you do murder, you have become a transgressor of law. Keep on speaking in such a way and keep on doing in such a way as those do who are going to be judged by the law of a free people. For the one that does not practice mercy will have [his] judgment without mercy. Mercy exults triumphantly over judgment.”

    Did Jesus come to earth to JUDGE or to SAVE? If you, or any “elder” think that you are bound by duty to JUDGE and SENTENCE or SLAUTER, you do NOT know Christ!

    What about the 11/15/2008 Watchtower (“Help Them Return Without Delay”) Paragraph 12, that said if a person has stopped going to meetings and going out in service because of a SERIOUS SIN, that if that one would return and confess that one would NOT be disfellowshipped? What a LIE! “Elders” made that Watchtower a LIE, and they make the Bible a lie! “They make the scriptures invalid by their traditions”.

    What about the Parable of the “Prodigal Son”? “Elders” surely missed the purpose of Jesus Christ’s teaching there.

    John Scott, I feel sorry for persons like you who blindly defend what you do not know, and blindly follow MEN.

    There are so many more details in the “elder’s” lack of love and mercy that it would fill a book.

    One sister I know, was disfellowshipped because she was cornered by “elders” after she had been speaking too much about “Jesus” rather than “Jehovah”, and they pushed her in a corner asking if she believes that anyone can have a relationship with God apart from the “organization”, and she spoke from her heart and said, “yes”, and she was immediately disfellowshipped as an “apostate”!

    Elders and ones in power in the “organization” sit in their ivory tower and they think they are wearing bright white clothes, but their hands are stained with the “BLOOD of the righteous”. There is no one more righteous, than ones who even though they sin, they TRY to return to GOD, but MEN stand in the way!

    If anyone wants to hear more details and specifics, I would love to relate. You can write to kindloving2001@yahoo.com and my name is Larry Jon Wayne, and I do not fear these men anymore, they need to be exposed for who and what they really are, and some of the UN-Christian teachings they teach, and their hypocrisy.

    • Tulsigirl

      BRAVO! Brother Larry Jon. That’s all I’ve got to say. You write the truth and speak it eloquently. Thank you so very much. I can now say I live in the Joy and Freedom of Christ since I’ve left the Watchtower Organization.

    • max

      Don’t feel sorry for us JW,s. And don’t say we don’t know. Consider what Paul wrote. HNV 1 Tim 6:4,5,”he is conceited, knowing nothing, but obsessed with arguments, disputes, and word battles, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, constant friction of people of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth.” Been going to the JW, meetings since 1972. Always peacful, educational, and bible learning. The list is way to long of good things.

      We do as Peter wrote,”Concerning this very salvation a diligent inquiry and a careful search were made by the prophets who prophesied about the undeserved kindness meant for you. NWT 1 Pe 1:10

      So why do people go the wrong way then? Well consider Pauls words and thinking. “Alexander the coppersmith did me many injuries-Jehovah will repay him according to his deeds-and you to be on guard against him, for he resisted our words to an excessive degree. 1 Tim 6:14

      So we see bad things can happen from those who up and leave. So what should the faithful do? 1 Tim 6:18,”The Lord will deliver me from every wicked work and will save me for his heavenly kingdom.”

      Paul had his fair share of those who caused problems to the brothers. It was nothing new, but he was not going to give up the truth because of it. Keep in mind Jesus was tempted by the devil and many times had questions throwen at him to trip him up. But they failed to deter Jesus and likewise Paul.

      So it is no different for us today to hear story after story, of how bad this is in God’s organization. When I see people tire out, they do it on their own. Gal 6:9

      Some go back to believing God burns people forever, then they say how bad JW,s are for disfellowshipping. What is worse disfellowship and try to bring them back to repentence, or burn somebody forever?

      When it is all said and done, those for the most part will go right back to fulfilling those first two verses I used. Sadly having a corrupt mind. And destitute of truth. Destitute means,deprived or lacking.

      To my brothers and sisters in the faith, remember, 1Pe 5:7,8. Satan trying to devour someone. Stay strong and practice Mark 12:28,29.

      • Jacqueline

        Hello Max and welcome. Truth is truth and I agree with you a christian has to expect and accept hardship and adversity in his walk with Christ. Sometimes the adversity is what you need to put you on your person relationship with Jehovah and Jesus. Most that tell their stories survived and are in various stages of healing, so they need a place and freedom to talk. Most of us however that left and came to the Bible Students came because in my case the governing body was “Instead of Christ.” Try three columns, put Jesus, Jehovah, GB at your next 3 meetings. GB will beat out Jehovah and clobber Jesus. Ac 4:12 states there is not another name under heaven by which one can get saved, Jesus Christ. If you are a truthful man, you will agree that the GB says they and the organization is the means of salvation. Either by suggestion and by complete authority over doctrine teachings and witnesses lives. So wanted to find Jesus and tried to leave in dignity. These ones are often not allowed to. They put an apostasy smear on them. Now most don’t care and are looking for truth. Judah and Israel had Jehovah blessings and curses after they split he didn’t favor one above the other. They both were accepted by him. That is the way I personnally feel about the Bible Students and Jehovah Witnesses. They both seem to have found to the key to the sacred secret of the Christ and his ruling Bride. They both seem to have reckoned many truths from the Bible with the help of Jesus and Holy Spirit. I don’t think either can call the other the “evil slave”. Most of us have found a place to go that allows us the freedom to learn in an environ of non fear. We can ask a question and not be labeled or marked as a dissenter. You are given the opportunity to be a good person and a Christian on your own and build good character.Tigh, strict rules and foot on the neck compliance promotes just the opposite. Many have absolutely no problemm with being in the witness organization and I don’t feel any of us should make it a problem for them. Our relatives and others should not be encouraged to leave. Many flourish under tight controls and 1Sam. 8:19 is their cry. Jehovah permitted it then and he is permitting it now. But he also permits a free worship of him with the Bible Students. He didn’t deny Israel their kings but they suffered as he said. Judah produced the Christ and was kept safe but chastised just like Israel.
        My personal opinion and that of some of my JW family members and non witness members is that both are allowed by Jehovah and Jesus. If one of us leaves and go to the Bible Students for more freedom of worship, our family will stay together and allow it. We have decided to live in peace as Christians. We would just hope the society will not try and get JW to demonize us because we have this newfound freedom in Christ and I for one am learning so much. We use the bible without a the book being the touchstone. As Christians we are children with a common mother like Judah and Israel. Like Melchezek and Abraham Gen. 14:17-24 read it with open new eyes. Like Jesus when his apostles told him about others casting out demons in his name he said leave them alone. I Know it is hard for most witnesses to believe there is somewhere else to go to worship Jehovah in freedom and have his favor, but there is. Rom. 12:17-21 says as far it depends on us be peaceable with all men and the devil is the one we must conquer. If I am visiting I see no problem with going to the KH with a family member if there is not BS meetings close by. Often I do adobe connect for we need to connect with one another for upbuilding. I believe the meetings are not the important thing but the association in love. So Max do you think it is wrong to be a Bible Student? What have you concluded since you have found them also? In peace and Love Jacqueline.

      • Dupin

        Welcome to the forum Max,

        Have we met before? Well, that was a nice piece of polemic against those who leave the organization. You started out kind of personal using the scripture to imply those who tell experiences such as those several of us have given are doing so out of improper motivations. That, as you know, is the standard Watchtower response, a form of denial that such things occur in the organization. That is a big part of the problem at headquarters, a denial that any problem exists and the delusion that those who criticize it most be wrongly motivated.

        To be honest I won’t deny that there are those out there who do criticize the Witnesses improperly. But to paint all who do so with so sweeping a brush does you and the organization no favors. If anything brushing off all criticism in that way and even attacking those who do criticize the organization in the manner the Watchtower recently did and you come very close to doing, makes both you and the organization look uncaring and cult-like. Is that how you really want people who may read our exchanges to see the Witnesses, as an uncaring, blame the victim organization?

        Would it not be better to have the concern displayed by the aged Apostle John who declared his intent to personally go and clean up a situation much like that behind the stories so many of us have to relate both here and elsewhere when he wrote his compassionate letter to Gaius, third John? So far I’ve seen no invitation to those with stories such as Jacqueline, or Larry Wayne and who are willing to give names, dates and places to come forward with their facts so that a genuine investigation in to their stories may take place. That, I submit, shows the real measure of the organization you defend by impugning the character of those here who cry out for somebody to see their pain and comfort them.

        In case you’ve missed it, the stated purpose of this site isn’t to attack the Watchtower Society and sully its reputation; it does that pretty well all by itself. It is to offer comfort to those of us who were hurt and damaged by our association with Jehovah’s Witnesses and show us what its administrators consider a better way, that is, going back to the beginning, the message of the one the Witnesses claim for their founder.

        I’m not part of the administration; I’m one of the victims who hasn’t quite gotten all of the hurt out yet. My opinions are not those of the administration, though I have embraced the teachings of Charles Taze Russell as well. I’ve just got a bit more of a way to go as far as my character development goes than they do. It also means that where the things I relate are concerned, I state what I saw and experienced during my years as a Witness truthfully, Max.

        • Jacqueline

          Dupin, I know people don’t want to hear about atrocities, but on victim blame. One twelve year old had been molested by an elder, a ministerial servant and other elders like to watch according to her. I remember her mom, the perpetrator’s wife and a talk from the Circuit overseer saying little girls can be vampists (?). They said she tempted these brothers from age 3 and one from age 5. She was read on reproof for her part and it was said she also committed fornication. So victim blame was accepted by this child’s family. I just had to tell that.

          • Dupin

            Thanks Jacqueline,

            After I wrote the above I finally looked up the text for the day from the Manna (I slept kind of late because of the insomnia that tends to go with my health problem). It was sort of like an epiphany for me and it has me thinking. We discussed my thoughts on it in our study tonight, although I didn’t tell the story of my posts. So I ended up with some thoughts and input from the brethren.

  • You are misrepresenting the practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Jehovah’s Witnesses practice disfellowshipping according to the Bible’s Christian practice at 1 Cor chapter 5:

    Those who are disfellowshipped among Jehovah’s Witnesses are in most cases disfellowshipped for sexual immorality, not for the things you list above. Jehovah’s Witnesses become Jehovah’s Witnesses out of choice, knowing already that Jehovah’s Witnesses don’t celebrate Christmas, birthdays, salute the flag, take blood transfusions, etc. so, those things are usually not an issue for those who are already baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses.

    Also, no one is born into Jehovah’s Witnesses, a person is baptized of their own volition, usually as teenagers or adults. Some raised as Jehovah’s Witnesses are never baptized, and no matter what they practice, they won’t or can’t be disfellowshipped.

    Further, baptized Jehovah’s Witnesses are not disfellowshipped for “saluting the flag” or even for committing an act of immorality, for that matter. They are disfellowshipped for practicing something that is contrary to Bible principles, or practicing immorality within the congregation and then hiding or lying about it.

    In most cases, congregation elders spend much time helping those who may have strayed into areas contrary to Bible principles, and lovingly help them to recover spiritually.

    So, your above message greatly misrepresents the practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses.
    What is more, the majority of those who are disfellowshipped, as mentioned, usually for the practice (not one time sin) of sexual immorality, are reinstated as Jehovah’s Witnesses, and can again serve in positions in the congregation.

    • Jacqueline

      Hi John Scott, thank you so much for a comment on this subject. I am sure many of the brothers would like to respond and I will let them do so. I would like to make one observation however many persons are disfellowshipped for disagreeing with doctrine. Some also for being a threat in revealing hidden sins, sure as peodophilia and sexual corruptness covered up by the org. In a spirit of peace I add this to the reasons you give for DF so more persons can comment. Thank you for presenting the issues of disagreement so we and others can test whether or not there is truth to them. I will comment later on each individual issue. Agape Jacqueline

    • Dupin

      Welcome to our site John:

      Since clicking on your name takes me to the JW Media site I assume you are taking the role of an official Witness apologist, fine with me.

      You refer me to 1 Corinthians chapter five where Paul commanded the entire congregation to withdraw fellowship from a man who was guilt of a particularly egregious sexual sin, one which would shock even people with “modern” sexual sensibilities. You say the Witnesses follow that passage. But please answer me this John. Where, exactly in said passage is the Christian church authorized to set up secret Judicial Star Chamber tribunals made up exclusively by elders armed with pharisaical rules to perform such a task? I certainly see no such authorization in the passage. That’s because it wasn’t the custom of the day, or even the congregation.

      Even your own reference work on the Bible, the “Insight” volumes points out that in ancient Israel judicial matters were all done openly and aboveboard. They were generally held at the gates and the judges consisted of whatever older men from the city were present. They were never secret or in the dark of night and the fact that Jesus’ was is one of the things which made his trial one of the great injustices of history. It appears that Christians had the same sense of propriety. Remember, Paul’s letter to the Corinthians wasn’t secret; it was written and meant to be read before the entire congregation, one can’t get much more public than that. Given that judicial matters are conducted in secret by judicial tribunals who are prosecutors, judge’s and juries; it cannot be said that the Witnesses follow procedures outlined anywhere in the Bible for judicial matters, much less in the passage mentioned.

      It is true that most people disfellowshipped are disfellowshipped for sexual immorality. The last year I was in, 2003, the latest figure on that was around 60%, in part because there were a growing number of expulsions on the basis of apostasy. I won’t deny that and never implied otherwise. However, I’ll mention that the figure is probably skewed by something called “disassociation,” but more on that later.

      I will also stipulate to the fact that folks, including those raised in the faith do generally get baptized of their own volition. Your last in that paragraph wasn’t always the case my new friend. Until 1989 they could be declared “unbaptized associates,” an action which was nothing but disfellowshipping by another name.

      Now we get to where your figures on difellowshipping may be getting skewed a little. You’re bandying semantics when you say Witnesses don’t get disfellowshipped for saluting the flag, taking blood and a whole list of other offenses John. You call it “disassociation,” purportedly classing it as the action of the offender against your faith instead of action on the behalf of the church. This has become a favored device of the Governing Body whereby they could sign agreements with many countries world-wide which were placing pressure on the organization to stop disfellowshipping for the two actions mentioned or face disbanding by the state.

      The truth is that was a legalistic way out of the problems presented, though the classification had been part of the Witness judicial toolbox all along. According to the latest literature I have access to, the elder’s manual before the current one, disassociated persons are to be treated exactly the same as disfellowshipped; that is shunned. That makes the action a punishment, calling into question the official position on the matter. Being shunned, my friend, is shunning, whatever name you choose to give it. Disassociation, by the way, allows the Society to keep folks shunned for those offenses off the books so to speak and not included in your statistics concerning difellowshipping, hence the skewing of the data.

      “In most cases, congregation elders spend much time helping those who may have strayed into areas contrary to Bible principles, and lovingly help them to recover spiritually.”

      Please excuse me for laughing as I cut and pasted that one John. It is an absurd claim in my experience, one which I’ve seen posted by another JW apologist over at the Bible Student forum, Victomr, with quite some regularity. In my thirty years in the organization I had more than one opportunity to be present at Judicial Committees, not once did I see any serious effort made to help the offender, not once. Usually the whole attitude was “we’ve got you and we’re going to make you pay.” In the case of sexual “sins,” the elders wanted a blow-by-blow account of the action as a sign of repentance, and then disfellowshipped anyway. The one that really got to me involved a thirteen year old rape victim. By the way, she was declared an “unapproved associate,” which was the same as disfellowshipping at the time. Watching the elders soak the story up with glee and then expel her anyway began my long journey out of the faith.

      Those were real-life things I watched John, not Watchtower press-releases. They happened or I wouldn’t be mentioning them. And they call your words into question. I know, you have to post the official position and deny those things happened, But that denial doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. But let me ask you please, how can you embrace legalism, something Jesus condemned as you well know? In Luke 11:37-53 Jesus soundly condemned the kind of rule setting the Society thrives on and imposes on its members under the threat of expulsion. He likened such legalism to burdens, burdens which the leaders much like your own refused to help the people budge with so much as a finger (verse 46). How can any religion which embraces what the Lord condemned possibly be the true one?

      • Peter K. (admin)

        Dupin. Thanks for these insights. We have some artciles that talk about the scriptural perspective on disfellowship and how this should be a congregation action if necessary, not a Judicial Committee: http://www.friendsofjehovahswitnesses.com/2010/11/only-the-congregation-has-authority-to-disfellowship/

        • Dupin

          Thank you Br. Peter:

          I think i may have read that article, though I’ll give it a fresh look. There are a few questions I do have about Df’ing among the brethren of a technical nature I haven’t managed to get a satisfactory answer to yet. As my reply to John implied i do realise the scriptural methodology for the matter is for the congregation to be involved and everything open and above-board. However, as an isolated student I haven’t ahd the opportunity to see it worked out in practice, though God forbid I would really desire to.

          I chiefly wanted to point out to John that even the Watchtower Society’s reference works painted a picture of the judicial process among God’s people, Israel, which was at odds with the Society’s practice. I also wanted to point out that his statement was at odds with the reality among the Witnesses, as I saw for myself while I was inside the organization.

          • Jacqueline

            John Scott it is true what you say about persons not being DF”d because of not saluting the flag etc. However it can be the attitude they display when it is brought to their attention, that gets them DF’d. They may get a charge of apostasy for not seeing things in the light that the GB sees it.I felt there needed to be some clarification on that my brother. Sometimes we split hairs. Most truthful witnesses know it is the ATTITUDE even if you are a fornicator or an adulterer that gets you DF”d . No one has the right to punish anyone for any sins. It is the attitude and whether or not they are willing to stop. Smoking was an exception however. Six months and that was it. One might not get DF’d now for taking blood transfusion because you can take it all in pieces just not as a whole pie. However if you don’t repent before the brothers and say it is not wrong. You are DF’d. I have seen summaries of the flock book 2010 and at some point seen the complete book and digested it. If my thoughts are inorrect my brother, I will stand corrected. Peace

            Dupin, although I have been with the BS for almost 2yrs now I have seen quite a bit played out before my eyes. I have attended 2 general conventions (District kind of) plus others. I am going to check with Br. Jim Parkinson to see if he can put me right on exactly what I saw or perhaps explain what conclusions were gathered at this meeting I was in. Or maybe I will call you after talking to Br. Parkinson to get my facts straight. Remember I am still digesting all this freedom, liberty, learning and allowance to understand the bible with my own brain. So I think I need to tell him what I thought I experienced in this meeting and let him correct me if I am wrong. At any rate I will call you. Br. Parkinson was so skillful in the way he reasoned from the scriptures with everyone when it seemed someone was disrespecting the commands of God.

            To Res light: I think what is being said is it is the decision of the brother what days to hold. The Calendar is printed by JW org and we use the days of the week. We have a choice, we can use the Jewish calendar for the Gregorian calendar is pagan. The wedding ring should not be optional inside a kingdom hall. But of course we all know noone thinks of the ancient rites associated with these aforementioned. Over 55 yrs ago I remember my witness parents wrapping gifts for us nine children while we tried to peek through the door of the 4 room home. The Salvation Army heard about my dad having cancer and his layoff. They send an invitation for them to come down and pick out toys for every child. My parents cried as they wrapped those gifts and we were up at the crack of Dawn.
            Daddy died in March of 1959 some witnesses came to the funeral. You see Dad was DF for telling the 3 man committee a lie. They sat out in front of our house hiding in the bushes, watching for when dad arrive from the KH. They asked him if he came straight home on the bus. He said yes. But actually they were looking at the bus when it arrived, he was not on it. He had instead got off a mile or so before and visited a friend. They said you lied, we will DF you> You see Dad took a blood transfusion for his cancer against the new society teaching. He died within a year. No one brought us nine kids any food that day. When neighbors found out our religion didn’t prepare food they did. Neighbors and non JW family came to help 9 screaming children at the funeral, some kind witnesses did als against society orders. That Thanksgiving a Witness teacher put our name in the box for needing help. The witnesses had us under a cloud, although daddy died in March. We woke up Thanksgiving morning to a loud banging on our door. The Porch was full of FOOD. The whole non JW neighborhood did that. A witness Sis. Garrett will never be forgotten by us! My aunt always brought us toys on Dec.25th regardless of what our religion taught ! Too my shame we went trick o treating also (might as well tell the truth). Not because we worshipped the devil, but because that was the only way we were getting any candy after daddy died and we shared with our mother and the little children. BTW we were all under 18-2yrs old. We grew up being told we would never see our dad again because he died DF and one brother still believes that 60 yrs later. There was no Aid for dependant children in the south at that time. The next year my mother got DF because she turned down the advances of the 2nd man of the three man committee. They trumped up a lie because she threatened to tell his wife because he was aggressive. She refused to come back in after the year was up. (you could come back in one yr. then.) We still have the 25 letters back and forth between her and the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, my brother has them. She said you will announce that it was an error, I will not walk back in under reinstatement.5 yrs passed an a CO reviewed the two witnesses who were in shock that their names had been used against their close friend. They didn’t know why she was DF’d. The CO and DO said raise your hand at the watchtower study and we will call on you. That’s how they did it to save face. So I have told you of my story. The society was not like it is now or at least it didn’t affect the Black community in the South as much until after 1963.Many witnesses celebrated Xmas and birthdays if they wanted to, some didn’t. No one judged you in our congregations. This control factor has escalated since the announcement of the end of the world in 1966 for the year 1975. And the inception of the elder arrangement and the coming out in the open of the GB. I have witnessed more dirt in this organization in my life time for it to be the sole channel on earth with whom God deals. I am finally free and will never look back. I wish all that have no problem with the organization the best. For God and Jesus is letting all of us exist for the working out of his purpose and will. And he will chastise us all to cleanse and refine us thru fire.

    • Peter K. (admin)

      John Scott – Thanks. I appreciate your sharing your perspective and trying to set the record straight. If what you say is true, I find it very encouraging. We would like to hear more comments from our website visitors sharing experiences in these matters. I will consider whether I need to retract anything we posted. Personally, I feel these issues are personal concience issues. I would ike to understand though, are you saying for example, that if a Jehovah’s Witness family had a Christmas tree at home and celebrated Christmas every year, that this would not be cause for “reproof’ and some form of disciplinary action, potentially leading to disfellowship if the behavior were not changed?

  • Dupin

    Let me please draw your attention to the article under which these comments appear. It is about a conference call and skype presentation which will focus on Christian liberty and Jehovah’s Witnesses. It is meant for those who have recently left the sect, or thinking about doing so. It will no doubt focus on informing people who are used to living in a religious system which allows no independent thinking or opinions on what Christian liberty is from the stand point of God’s word. Jesus condemned the sort of rules and regulation laid down by the Jewish religious leaders of his day as outside of the spirit of the law which could be summed up with two axioms (Matt. 22:36-40).

    In doing so and having his words included in the record given us Jesus laid down for us, his followers the guiding principles for us to follow instead of slavishly laboring under laws, rules and regulations. All obligations Christians are under can be summed up by those two principles, plus one. “A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; even as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” (John 13:34) Even when the Apostles had the opportunity to assert authority to go beyond that they didn’t (Acts 15). All the commands they did lay down in the letter they circulated fell well within those three commands (verses 23-29).

    Consider the implications of that Anonymous. Jesus set Christians free. We are no longer servants in God’s house, but sons, heirs to God’s kingdom (Rom. 8:15-17). As such we have a certain amount of liberty as long as we keep within the parameters set by the three commandments Jesus gave his followers, us really. That means on issues such as Christmas, the occasion which is inspiring the presentation, nobody has the right to impose their command on us. But such freedom also carries with it responsibility to study God’s word for ourselves in order to make a personal determination as to what is right or wrong, and in the spirit of the third “law” not to use that freedom as an excuse to stumble one of our brethren if they have a problem such as the “Christmas is pagan” deal by selfishly doing what we want anyway (Rom. 14:19-23).

    I hope you’ll attend. I intend to.

  • Dupin

    Okay my Doctor just unexpectedly cancelled my visit dso I can get back to this:

    Okay anonymous, you didn’t lay out what in your mind constitutes a “scriptural divorce,” so I can’t really address that for which I don’t know the ground rules. First let me point out that you are correct that officially the Watchtower society defines a “scriptural divorce’ as one gained on the grounds of “fornication,” one of the two words Jesus is recorded using in the Bible. Fornication is basically defined as “unlawful sex” without reference to marriage, the meaning of the Greek word “porneia” as they understand it. Under that definition coerced sex, even between spouses would be ground for divorce, though I’m not sure whether they include that in their “unlawful” sexual acts at the present time.

    Since abusive relationships such as those noted by Jacqueline often end up including marital rape a divorce on those grounds would arguably be lawful. That being said, I don’t know current pronouncements by the governing body on the matter in my day separation on the grounds Jacqueline cited was allowed, though the parties involved were not free to remarry. I sadly remember one sister married to an abusive non-witness who went to the body of elders in my congregation for help in finding shelter from her clearly abusive husband, whose abuse was escalating. They refused to get involved in what they considered a personal matter between the wife and her husband, and she ended up dead. I’ll never forget seeing her dead body at the funeral. Had I known how bad things had gotten I would’ve helped her and the elders be damned. That was how I ended up with my wife.

    She was married to an abusive witness, very abusive. He was also a philanderer and she got the goods on him, establishing her right to divorce and remarry. She divorced him, but somehow the message didn’t get through to him that that meant he no longer had the right to beat on her. After he kicked in her door one evening and beat her bad enough to put her in the ER with a badly injured knee among other things, a couple her were mutual friends of ours decided to bring me into the picture.

    That couple thought we’d make a good couple and that I would fall for her, I did. But the most important thing was they knew that once I entered the picture and found out what was going on I not only could, but would put a stop to the continued abuse, which was escalating whether I fell for her or not. I did. Then I convinced her to give marriage another try, with me. That was thirty years ago.

    Sadly, though, like any other pharisaical organization the Watchtower does allow divorce and remarriage which may meet the letter of the law, but totally violate its spirit. That’s because the form is more important with the organization than the substance, just like almost any other sectarian faith. So things such as people committing adultery and taking a token disfellowshipping or even just a reproof in order to be free and remarry somebody else is I think a lot more common than folks may realize. Jesus labeled such behavior hypocritical in the 23rd chapter of Matthew, where he says in verse 23: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye tithe mint and anise and cummin, and have left undone the weightier matters of the law, justice, and mercy, and faith: but these ye ought to have done, and not to have left the other undone.” So in that respect you are correct that the Witness organization is hypocritical.

  • Anonymous

    A noted psychiatrist has professionally observed that Jehovah’s Witnesses allow and accept Unscriptural Divorce in their congregations even though the bible and their own Governing body specifically and directly condemn this wrong practice in their literature published for decades.
    Tens of thousands of Jehovah’s Witnesses worldwide are victims of unscriptural divorce . They are threatened with disfellowshipping (shunning) if they chastely and morally and legally marry another.
    This disfellowshipping is even extended to close family members who are pressured to not even associate with them . Divorcers who unscripturally desert their mates are not cleansed from the
    congregations but are actually allowed to comment at meetings and take part on stage instruction of the congregation .
    Jehovah’s Witness flagship publication “The Watchtower”1978 Dec.1st p. 8 even states “Marriage is considered binding. Divorce is forbidden ‘except on the grounds of fornication’. Jehovah’s Witnesses live that way simply because the Bible so exhorts.” .But in reality and practice Unscriptural divorce is NOT forbidden.
    Their media website (JWMEDIA.ORG) expressly set up to give info to the world states ” Divorce is also allowed, but only on the grounds of sex relations outside the marriage.” Clearly this is stated to lead the world and rank and file witnesses to believe that witnesses respect marriage . They don’t its a LIE.

    Jehovah’s Witness hypocrisy is on full display.

    • Jacqueline

      Anonymous, Thank you for making us aware of the “noted psychiatrist” observation. I do not know if his observation is his own opinion or if he is a subject of such.But here are some thoughts that might help him to understand the different faces of marriage and divorce.
      Matt12:11,12He said to them “Who will be the man among you that has one sheep, and if this falls into a pit on the sabbath, will not get hold of it and lift it out? 12. All considered, of how much more worth is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do a fine thing on the Sabbath
      I will refer to the incidence when the Israelites were fighting and took to eating the flesh along with the blood. (I will find later). They were pardoned because their lives were involved. How does these scriptures apply? Many sisters in the JW religion (and I imagine in the world at large) have had to divorce to save their lives and the lives of their children. Both the sabbath and blood law was binding, but exceptions were made to save a life. See http://www.watchtowernews.org/familymurders.htm contains some snippets of the aftermat when the problem was not recognized soon enough so the mate could flee for their life.
      1Cor.7: contains two separate discussions on marriage vs. 1-11 is referring to a situation where both are Christians (of the same faith). Vs 12-15 is about a christian and an unbeliever being married to each other. If the christian is abandoned by the unbeliever, they have been called to peace and no longer in servitude. Vs. 15 says, “But if the unbelieving one proceeds to depart, LET HIM DEPART; (caps added) a brother or sister is not in servitude under such circumstances, but God has called you to peace.” So if God called them to peace and released them from servitude in the case of a believer married to an unbeliever, I guess JW probably see fit to leave it at that. Some unbelieving spouses and witnesses leave if the spouse converts to another religion. So you see why each case has to be considered. Unless it is your personal marriage. I agree with Dupin, each one has to stand or fall before Jehovah. For some abused women marriage is not considered after they escape so if not on grounds of adultery I can see where the violent mate has a dilema. But I don’t think he or she qualifies as a Christian. A very tangled webb indeed. All things will be brought in subjection under Christ in Millenium!
      I can’t speak for the JW here. The “noted psychiatrist” might want to address the watchtower society on this directly or maybe if you can inform him of a similar discussion on http://www.jwstruggle.com that give other scenerios on why one might divorce. (Won without a word article) I have heard there is an upcoming article in the JW magazine on the subject of divorce. Perhaps the psychiatrist would see an opportunity there to contact the society directly. Thank you for commenting and hope I have shed some light on the many facets and anxieties of marriage as discussed in the entire chapter 7 of 1Corinthians.

    • Dupin

      I’ll be back a little later with more, however, I am curious which “noted psychiatrist” made the observation you attributed to him or her. Surely if they stated it publicly or published the observation they have no problem with you citing them properly; in fact they probably want their observation properly attributed.

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